Why They Don't Give You Feedback After An (Unsuccessful) Interview

by: Joanne Meehl

So often I get questions from candidates about "Why can't I get feedback about my interview?", especially when the person does not get the job.

Here are some reasons why interviewers won't give you feedback after an interview when you don't get asked back for the next round, aside from that nebulous "fear of being sued":

1. They simply don't have the time. HR departments are thinly staffed and have been for over 10 years. Internal recruiters have multiple searches going on and are frantic to keep hiring managers happy by giving them immediately eligible candidates. External recruiters are your best bet for feedback? -- as long as you're still a viable candidate, which stands to reason since they are on 100% commission. If you're not, they move on. As should you.

2. The interviewer does not have to give feedback. It's not their job. They have another job to do, and need to spend time on that (see #1). Their job is not to be your career coach.

3. They probably tried giving feedback to someone once before, and that candidate began to argue with them or some other dumb thing. It scared the interviewer, perhaps. So they vowed to never do it again. And they won't.

4. There's some sort of internal reason that if they revealed it, would be disclosing proprietary information. For example, they decided to merge "your" job with another at the last minute, but don't want to tell you that because it might get back to the person who's holding that other job and is about to be fired.

5. Although you thought it went well, obviously, it didn't. "Friendly" and "nice conversation" does not translate today into "you may be the one so we want you back". There is simply a lot of competition. And perhaps something negative "leaked" out -- like anger about your current or previous boss. Or maybe the success examples you gave didn't fit the current position. Or you displayed a "Yes but" attitude. So the interviewer just doesn't want to get into it with you afterward because they don't see that you'll be changing anything about yourself any time soon. See #3.

Instead of focusing on "interview feedback", get feedback on the earlier parts of your job search approach by dealing with contacts inside the organization, and not so much about open jobs but about their work, what they see that is needed inside that organization, and so forth. That will help you tailor yourself to them, and will get you internal endorsements that will actually lessen the need for multiple interviews.

Should employers respond and not leave you hanging? Absolutely: they should tell the candidate if they're still in the running, or not. That's only decent. But as you can see in the five points above, there are reasons why they can't do a critique. Candidates who think it's all a plot against those who are out of work, are frankly just keeping themselves in a painful state of denial. And that is so sad to see.

Instead, save your mental energy for the doors that are still open:?Move on to the next company/organization. You'll thank yourself for it.


Want to know how to get your resume read by applicant tracking systems? See Joanne's free download here.


Leave a Comment

Blog Archive